I've spent a lot of time the last couple of months prepping for Kade's first birthday party. One of the more important details when it comes to throwing a party is, of course, the invitation. Once I finally decided on the theme and the invites, I knew I wanted to use something a little more interesting than just plain white envelopes to put them in but didn't necessarily want to spend money on anything fancy. We are planning on throwing a very small, intimate, family-only type birthday party so I also knew I didn't need to buy a pack of 20 or 50 envelopes- which of course is the only way they typically come.
Here's where my handy dandy mother stepped in and had the brilliant idea to just make our own. The only money I spent on this project was however much it cost to buy a few sheets of 12x12 scrapbook paper in the color that I wanted. We struggled to find directions/videos on the internet that were as clear as what we needed so I decided that I wanted to write my own post to see if I could explain it clear enough to hopefully help someone else out.
Our invitations ended up being 5x7 so this is the size envelope created in this tutorial.
Here are the materials you will need to create your own 5x7 envelopes:
-As many sheets of 12x12 scrapbook paper as you want envelopes, plus maybe a couple of extra for practice ;) [it's best if you use regular paper and not cardstock]
-One 12x12 piece of cardstock to use to create your template [easier for tracing- this part is optional... you CAN use regular paper if you don't have any cardstock, it's just easier to trace when the template is a little thicker]
-Elmer's Permanent Tape Runner [you can also use a glue stick, or double sided tape, however, the space that you'll have for gluing is pretty thin and I found that the width of this tape runner worked best]
The trickiest, most confusing part of this process is the very first step... making the template. I created this image with step by step directions to hopefully make this part as clear and simple as possible. Remember, this is for a 5x7 envelope, and you will need to start with a 12x12 piece of scrapbook paper [you may use cardstock for this step since this will be your template/tracer for creating the rest of the envelopes].
Ok I promise that is the hardest part so if you managed to figure that out, the rest is smooth sailing! I originally created that /\ on regular scrapbook paper and then decided I should have done it on cardstock since it was going to be my tracer... When I re-did it, I used colored cardstock- this is why it looks different in the next couple of pictures.
Once you have your template drawn, you'll need to cut it out:
To start making your envelope, you will need a piece of your regular [non-cardstock] 12x12 scrapbook paper. You will trace your template onto a piece of paper, and then trace a 5x7 rectangle in the middle of it just like you did for the template.
Here's where the folding begins. Make sure that your paper is laying with the rectangle going horizontally so that the longer sides are on the top and bottom and the shorter sides are on the left and right. Start by folding the bottom corner up into the center of the rectangle. You are basically folding right along the bottom line of the rectangle that you traced.
Next you will fold in the two sides along the lines that you drew.
Last fold! Fold down the top half of your envelope, along the top line of your rectangle.
At this point, I like to erase that top line of my rectangle so that you don't see it when you open the envelope.
You can skip tracing the 5x7 rectangle for each envelope if you wish and just fold each point up to the center. Thelines from the rectangle are really just there for a guide.
You have a little bit of freedom with this next step depending on how you want your envelope to look. You can have the bottom flap on the outside or the inside, and you can choose to leave it as a point, or fold it down so that it goes straight across. I chose to have my bottom flap on the outside [covering the two side flaps] and I chose to fold it over. I just used a tiny bit of the Elmer's tape runner to secure this little fold.
Now onto the gluing/taping. This part was a little tricky- but not quite as tricky as measuring out that template. You just have to be sure that you don't accidentally tape/glue your envelope shut anywhere and be sure that you don't put tape/glue anywhere that would show once you secure the folds. Just go slow and take your time! It does not line up perfectly along each edge so I really had to look at it to see where my tape should begin and end. You will want to go as close to the edge as possible without getting it on the inside of the envelope. This is another reason why I preferred the tape runner over a glue stick because I felt that I was able to be more precise. You don't have to worry about erasing any of the other lines of your rectangle because no one will see them once your envelope is all sealed up.
Once you apply your glue/tape, crease your folds once more and there you have it! Your very own, home-made, whatever color you want, FREE envelope! It seems like a lot of steps but believe me, once you have that template made and you get a couple of these babies under your belt, they really don't take much time at all. Such an easy and totally worth it way to save a few dollars. I really hope this was helpful and that I've inspired you to give this a shot next time you want to spice up your snail mail. ;) Here are a few pictures of my finished product, plus a little sneak peek at Kade's party theme:
Invites: Lil Faces